The biggest airports worldwide
by passengers

vgwortThe largest airport in this ranking is the Hartsfield Jackson Atlanta International Airport in the United States. With 879560 starts and landings in 2017 it belongs without doubt to the biggest airports worldwide. 37 airlines are starting here and fly to a total of 217 travel destinations. About 104 million passengers and 6,853.000 tons of cargo are moved annually.

The data given for passengers, movements and cargo are based on the years 2016 to 2017.
Order by:

1.Hartsfield Jackson Atlanta International Airport
United States (ATL)
103.90 M6,853,380 t879560372173624 m
2.Beijing Capital International Airport
China (PEK)
95.79 M2,029,584 t597259812063800 m
3.Dubai International Airport
United Arab Emirates (DXB)
88.24 M2,654,494 t418220841884000 m
4.Tokyo Haneda International Airport
Japan (HND)
85.41 M1,233,390 t45312632733360 m
5.Los Angeles International Airport
United States (LAX)
84.56 M2,158,324 t700362621493685 m
6.Chicago O'Hare International Airport
United States (ORD)
79.83 M1,721,807 t867049462063962 m
7.London Heathrow Airport
United Kingdom (LHR)
78.01 M1,794,276 t475915861713901 m
8.Hong Kong International Airport
Hong Kong (HKG)
72.66 M5,049,898 t416900831333800 m
9.Shanghai Pudong International Airport
China (PVG)
70.00 M3,824,280 t496774651524000 m
10.Charles de Gaulle International Airport
Paris, France (CDG)
69.47 M2,195,229 t4826761082374215 m
11.Amsterdam Airport Schiphol
Netherlands (AMS)
68.52 M1,778,382 t514625792323800 m
12.Dallas Fort Worth International Airport
Dallas-Fort Worth, United States (DFW)
67.09 M8,099,290 t654344331874085 m
13.Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport
China (CAN)
65.89 M1,780,423 t465295561503800 m
14.Frankfurt am Main Airport
Germany (FRA)
64.50 M2,194,056 t4755371002394000 m
15.Atatürk International Airport
Istanbul, Turkey (IST)
64.12 M466,553 t460785682273000 m
16.Indira Gandhi International Airport
New Delhi, India (DEL)
63.45 M857,419 t24000059974430 m
17.Soekarno-Hatta International Airport
Jakarta, Indonesia (CGK)
63.02 M501,803 t38012945643660 m
18.Singapore Changi Airport
Singapore (SIN)
62.22 M2,164,700 t301700831254000 m
19.Incheon International Airport
Seoul, South Korea (ICN)
62.16 M2,921,691 t211404661313962 m
20.Denver International Airport
United States (DEN)
61.38 M2,652,400 t574966241694877 m
21.Suvarnabhumi Airport
Bangkok, Thailand (BKK)
60.86 M1,351,878 t290916981214000 m
22.John F Kennedy International Airport
New York, United States (JFK)
59.39 M13,505,990 t446459741624442 m
23.Kuala Lumpur International Airport
Malaysia (KUL)
58.56 M776,727 t244179631124124 m
24.San Francisco International Airport
United States (SFO)
55.82 M5,618,050 t460343421043618 m
25.Adolfo Suárez Madrid–Barajas Airport
Spain (MAD)
53.39 M381,069 t366605691584179 m
26.Chengdu Shuangliu International Airport
China (CTU)
49.80 M477,700 t222400391083600 m
27.McCarran International Airport
Las Vegas, United States (LAS)
48.57 M1,110,520 t542994341334423 m
28.Barcelona International Airport
Spain (BCN)
47.26 M96,568 t276496691633552 m
29.Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport
Mumbai, India (BOM)
47.20 M635,163 t24449949833445 m
30.Lester B. Pearson International Airport
Toronto, Canada (YYZ)
47.13 M5,389,560 t465555461473389 m

Airports Council International

The Airports Council International (ACI) is an umbrella organisation consisting of 641 members that deals with all aspects of airport management. Of these 641 members, a total of 1953 airports are operated in 176 countries (as of January 2018). This also includes all major airports worldwide. In monthly and annual reports, the ACI publishes the traffic figures for passengers and freight traffic of its members with a 12-month delay. The official figures for 2018 will therefore only be available at the beginning of 2020 and will also be limited to the top 30 places.

In total, there are 61 airports with a passenger volume of over 25 million per year, which the ACI classifies as major airports. Of these, around one third are located in North America and one quarter in Europe. The rest is spread across Asia, Australia and South America. None of the major airports are located in Africa.

IATA and ICAO codes

The best known airport abbreviations are the 3-digit letter combinations of the IATA. The International Air Transport Association (IATA) is an association of around 280 airlines worldwide. The airports themselves are not members in the strict sense, but there are several hundred strategic partnerships between IATA and airports, the aviation industry, public authorities and also travel agencies and suppliers.

The aim of IATA is the international development of safe and economical air traffic. This includes above all the creation of standards such as ticket or booking systems. For example, it handles the booking and invoicing of over 400 million airline tickets every year.

The IATA codes are issued for airports (e.g. "SFO" for San Francisco), airlines (e.g. "LH" for Lufthansa) and aircraft types (e.g. "388" for an Airbus A380-800). The letters of an airport code usually have a connection with the name of the city. Only at very large airports does IATA assign a code that is not based on the city or region, but on the name of the airport. These are for example LHR (London Heathrow) or CDG (Charles de Gaulle).

A major drawback of the IATA codes is the limited selection of 3-digit codes, which means that codes are assigned again after some time. Since IATA only issues an official list for a four-digit fee, several Internet services are involved in collecting these codes. Unfortunately, this always leads to the listing of new codes and thus to apparent duplicates.

A further organisation of international air traffic is the "International Civil Aviation Organisation" (ICAO), which is a special organisation of the United Nations (UN) and also assigns its own codes for airports, airlines and aircraft types. Unlike IATA codes, however, normal passengers rarely come into contact with ICAO codes. They are mostly used by pilots and air traffic control. They are recognisable by their 4 letters, which gives them the advantage over the IATA codes that considerably more combinations are possible and there is no multiple assignment of the same code. Their more systematic structure also makes it possible to identify where an airport is located. The first two letters stand for the region and the country.

CSV download

An unfortunately not completely complete list of the IATA and ICAO codes used on is available here free of charge as a CSV file for download.